WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Makings of You

There's a time in your life when you find who you are
That's the golden time of day.
-Golden Time of Day, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly

Is this not one of the most beautiful ideas revealed in song? In life? Frankie n'em hit the nail on the head with this line right c’here. Even though as people we all grow and change, there comes a time when you have to set some standards, principles, convictions, truths about and for yourself. You have to know who you are and where you stand. Now let's not play ourselves, it takes some people longer than others to get there but hopefully everyone will…cause once you do, it's a beautiful thing, but it certainly is a process.

There are two people in my family, my great aunt’s husband and my maternal grandfather, who I never met but have heard about, and hearing stories about them has made them legends of sorts in my eyes. Both men passed away before I was born. But whenever someone speaks about them, it's always with a quiet reverence and genuine admiration, like they left more than an impact but an imprint on my family’s soul.

It's interesting to hear what people have to say about someone, and not while their eulogy is being given at the funeral, but after that, years later, decades later even, when people remember the sums that made that person whole. It really says something that everyone has the same view of that person, without having to consult others for agreement, because that person left each individual with the same impression. And that's a powerful thing. Ain't it?

I'm not saying that either of these men walked through life, thinking "let me be this way so people have something good to say when I'm gone." But instead it seems that they knew what kind of men or more so people they wanted to be and they lived their lives accordingly. From what I understand they were hard working men, doting husbands, loving fathers, helpful neighbors, daily Bible & Upper Room reading men, humble men, fair men, men who never raised their voices, wise men who spoke in plain and common sense language that had the power to instill lessons. From these seemingly mundane, everyday activities of working, raising a family, being a husband, character emerged, principles were revealed, and values were affirmed. And the people around them noticed and remembered. Now, I don't know what experiences helped shaped their final decision of how they wanted to live life, but I think that at some point, they had to have looked at life and said, this is how I'm going to navigate it, and this is the kind of person I'm going to be while doing it.

And that's a hard thing. To become a consistent person. To know yourself at your core and then to live your life in such a way that it’s revealed in the seemingly insignificant moments that in actuality string life together. That’s a beautiful thing. But it can take some work getting there. It can take some growing up, some exiting from a state of denial into one of acceptance about one’s flaws and imperfections, some true self examination of where you've been and where you want to go. I’m sure at one point or another; a lot of us have had to stop to ask ourselves: Who am I? What kind of person do I want to become? How do I get there? The hope is that you find the answers along the journey, hopefully in time, to enjoy the sunshine.

That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

what do you really want?

Why do we say we want one thing but continue to pick the complete opposite every time? Yea that's hella general but roll wit me for a minute I have a point.

On a recent episode of millionaire matchmaker a mid 40s millionaire comes to Patti talking about how he's tired of the bimbos and how he wants someone who is smart, mature, accomplished and into nature and healthy living because those are the things that he's into at this point in his life. So Patti sets him up on a group date/cocktail hour with 6-10 women she think he might like. He narrows the field down to 2 women. Miss A is exactly what he described: mid 30s special education teacher/yoga junkie who is intelligent but also pretty. But not in that typical L.A. blond bimbo way. She looks like an everyday Nicole Kidman plus some freckles.Mis B is exactly what the guy said he didn't want: a young hot dumb blonde barely outta college. And of course, despite Patti's protestations he chooses Miss B for the extended date. Needless to say, the date is a disaster. Several cringworthy moments ensue. Picture him chanting/praying over his vegan dinner while she looks on, snickering while digging into her plate of ribs. I bristled over that episode. The guy picked the complete opposite of what he said he wanted. It seems his libido and first appearance attractions did him in.

And while having dinner the other night, I came across the same thing again. My friend, I shall call him Tony, is a real cool dude, down to earth but also sexy as hell! He's got a great job, savings and some real goals. We grew up in the same city and we basically went to the same college, if our colleges had been co-ed. So Tony was telling me about this new woman (we'll call her New New) he's been dating for about two months now. He's frustrated because she doesn't have much time for him because she's always working. Apparently, she's a lowly litigation associate like me who works at a top New York law firm and is always billing hours even when they are chillin at her house on the weekends. Yeah, clearly I giveth not a fucketh about the billable hour or my job because there I was having dinner with him around 7 on a Tuesday night. but I digress.

I pressed Tony on his problems with New New because working a lot isn't necessarily a serious character flaw. He went on to say basically she's fakin like turkey bacon (c) Rum Punch. Tony feels like he's a pretty good catch and feels New New should be trying to spend more time, etc. instead of taking him for granted especially since according to Tony she aint even all that. Apparently New New's idea of a great catch would be someone who's a high powered trader or working at a hedge fund not a "regular" banker like Tony.

Obviously New New is nutso and unaware of the times we Black women are living in. She got Tony here trying to do the damn thang and she is reaching for more. Exactly where she's gonna find this more, I have no clue. I soon realized during the conversation that Tony and New New's goals and aspirations for the future just don't jive. He hates Corporate America and is trying to escape ASAP while she seems in it for the long haul and wants a male version of herself to marry. So why was he dating her again, why did he even like her, cause it sounded like they didn't have much in common beyond their respective resumes and she sounded kinda stank to me. And I won't even go into the part of the dinner where Tony talked about his old girlfriend who seemed to have the same stank face attitude that New New does, trying to tell him what he should be doing with his life (climbing the corporate ladder) instead of listening to what he wants for himself.

So being the internets stalker that I am, I found myself on New New's firm website at work the next morning to see if I could find a visual cause although Tony didn't mention her name he had told me where she went to school. And kids, let's just say she ain't that cute. Certainly not cute enough to be frontin on my boy like she got 'yonce grade looks. Despite her light skin and longish hair (the part-time proxies for real beauty to some) she gets a fugly rating from me. Please, light skinned-ed folks, don't get your panties in a bunch cause i know ya'll know somebody who ain't no parts to cute running around thinking they hot shit just cause they light and they buy into that "lighter is ALL right" crap. check this foolishness out (especially the first comment) if you don't believe me.

It seems to me that the kind of women Tony and matchmaker guy say that they want and who would be good for them are not who they end up with because they get sold on the physical package. They don't turn off their default setting to get with women who are just as beautiful (if not more so) and who may have what they're looking for. Of course, this phenom isn't confined to these two men. I know plenty women and men who operate the same way. But I just don't get it. Do you?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Politics of Love

With the advent of ad nauseam coverage of the precarious political state of New York and Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer's public indiscretion, I ask "where's the love?"

It appers that the Governor's indiscretion will pose some ethical challenges at least these are the claims being asserted by the New York Republicans. throwback to the Clinton era... Media speculation has it that Governor Spitzer will resign . So, I overheard radio chatter on Love, Lust, and Lies yesterday -- soliciting children feedback as to whether a parent victim to infidelity should dissolve the marriage. Michael Baisden, the program's host sought public opinion from his audience considering all the hoopla around Governor Spitzer's situation. It seemed Baisden asserted, since children tend to be aware of marital dealings in the household they should be in the mix. Apparently, many children professed their opinion that if one parent cheated on the other -- they would recommend the parent victimized by infidelity to end the relationship. I didn't tune into the program for long, but it was my impression that Baisden was a little perturbed about the children's suggestion to dissolve the marriage. It appears Baisden expected the children to convince the parents to fight for the marriage.

As I've gotten older and wiser (i hope) and have met men and women from all walks of life -- I realize my understanding of what a marriage is and isn't is nebulous. There are some folks who truly marry for love -- cuz they're in love and have love for their spouse. There are some folks who are in love with the idea of marriage and less so with their spouse. There are some folks that marry because family/society dictates when you do grown up things -- you're supposed to be married. There are some folks whom come from a family/cultural tradition of arranged marriages. And yet, there are some folks that marry for the benefits that will accrue after marriage.
ding ding -- hit the jackpot. . . the politics of love

Now I am not going to speculate on the Spitzer situation, but there are many marriages out there that are able to function despite gross public speculation. So, proof of rampant affairs can continue to plague the marriage, reminders of the infidelity may exist in abundancy, the other "wo/men" may dwell at your residence or other communal properties. And all this means nothing, if you married for other reasons.

You should know things seen afar become distorted up close.



Tuesday, March 11, 2008

We're All In Together

Yesterday-after I woke up late (last week it would have been early), missed my chariot (bus drivers truly believe they are gods among men), and fought the hellish fires that ignited the office-I realized, yet again that I am just not on top of things in my so-called life.

I went to Philadelphia on Saturday to do some early campaigning for Baracky…okay, let me stop lying. I went to Philly to visit some friends from the good ole University and we got to talking about LIFE. And the problem with: Black folks, and kids, and the government, and religion, and men, and grape Kool-Aid and with us women folk. It was a super meeting of the minds, four Black women sacrificing sleep to save the world and ourselves. Currently we are all in different places in life, but a common theme among us was that no one (
cue Alicia) had it all together yet.

We spoke of that future place, you know the one that we once envisioned we'd be living now, when we would be able to claim that we had it together. Shout “Hey Mamma I made it!” For those who don’t know, togetherness-ness includes: advance education, homeownership, career-not to be confused with a job, fabutron spouse, unlimited funds, a super genius child, fabulous shoes, clothes, hair and nails-all while having the time to save the community with our love, intellect and work in soup kitchens. For further reference think
Claire Huxtable But in one way or another we were all togetherness deficient...

And the question was raised are we even qualified to help or discuss the problems of other people whilst we ourselves were still a mess?

This made me think of ministers who steal and
politicians who pay for the company of ladies. And how I feel about their previous charitable campaigns in the aftermath of scandal. Were they just not qualified, or simply just human? Is not having it together a justifiable reason to sit silently on the sidelines waiting for the day to get into the game? Is perfection a prerequisite to iron the cape and fly in to save the day? Because what if total togetherness-ness is never achieved? Then what happens?

I don’t know.

I do know I do a lot of talking and thinking and reading and tv watching...and not a lot of action. I have that fear that if I were to give my opinion wrapped up in advice that upon inspection, the recipient might see the wad of gum thats holding me together. I mean really, what would I say if someone asked: “Who the F--- are you?” I surely ain’t no Claire Huxtable waking up late and running to a bus. I’m nowhere near a mountain summit, so who am I to look down and tell people what their problems are and how they should be ashamed? But maybe I am to show that it’s okay to use thread, glue or gum to keep it all together…

See You In Seven

Monday, March 10, 2008


Before the end of the night
I wanna hold you so tight
You know I want you so much
And I'm so tempted to touch…

I wanna feel you, I wanna squeeze you

I wanna hug and kiss and caress you
I wanna love you, I wanna touch you
I'll place no one else above you.

- Tempted to Touch, Rupee

I am soooo enjoying my single. single. single…. LIFE. Like Cameo said, it feels so good. I’m happy just doing me and sampling the many flavors of life one scoop at a time. I have perfected the art of mathematically reducing recipe measurements to create a meal for one. The square footage of my one bedroom condo is more than enough room for this little woman. My shoe boxes occupy every inch of shelf space in the closet and no one is complaining. I gauge the need to do laundry by the number of clean wash cloths remaining and when I start wearing socks that do not match. There are rarely splash marks on my toilet (unless I’ve had some male company). Sometimes an entire day goes by without me speaking a word to anyone. Life is lovely.

But sometimes I just need a lil’ sumthin’ sumthin’ to get me through the next few weeks [or months in my case], if ya know what I mean… A lil’ sumthin’ to help me sleep better. That will have me smiling and laughing a lil’ extra. That will keep me from going postal on the J-O-B. And help keep that mask from cracking that I work so hard on keeping tight. I get a lil’ thirsty when the well runs dry, sometimes (cue the music mint julep, I feel another remix coming on).

Now being the beautiful brown sista that I am, it is fairly easy to find someone to scratch my itch. To turn on my fire © Rick James. Or should I say extinguish… ‘cause the sh*t been smoldering from within for a minute and far from cold as ice, ok? I don’t use and abuse them but don’t mind loving and leaving them once I get mine, if that’s what our arrangement calls for.

Lucky for me, I have turned over a new leaf. No more b-u-dd-ys. No more late night entrances and early morning exits. No more maintenance men to call on when I need a lil’ fixin’. Dark & Stormy had a bright a** idea one day to abstain from sex unless her partner was someone whom she was actually interested in pursuing a monogamous romantic relationship with and someone whom she had ample opportunity to assess and investigate. See though that has always been a constant in my book of rules, I also had a tendency in the past to keep me a “friend” on the side.

Have that one phone number stored away like so >>>>

With a sign that reads:

“In Case of Emergency, Break Glass”

Now understand that most days are easy and a lot of times sex is the farthest thing from my mind. And since I'm already sharing, I'll go ahead and admit that I fully believe in the aid of battery-operated devices to assist in getting through the tough times. Shoot, that's the safest sex possible. And fuss free. But nothing can replace a man. Period. It's like making a cake with Splenda. You're only fooling yourself.

But recently I have had the opportunity to spend time with a man who may be special enough to get the party started again. Actually, there are two of them. And while it is still too early in the season to predict an MVP, my mind is already churning... focused on the championship trophy. Studying the playbook and films. Getting in the gym and practicing, ya dig?

The company of a man that I respect and am attracted to naturally ignites that fire. The sound of his voice. A brush of the cheek. His hand on the small of my back. Eyes locking as we gaze at each other across a table. A sweet kiss goodnight. Butterflies in the stomach. Lawd, not the butterflies...

And I'm so tempted to touch.

Tumultuously Yours,
Dark & Stormy